U.S. FUTURES LOWER ON GDP FEARS
U.S. stocks are set to open lower on Thursday on concerns about the strength of the U.S. recovery after a dovish Federal Reserve statement.
Nasdaq100 Futures traded 90.25 points or 0.85%, lower, S&P 500 Futures down 24.65 points or 0.74%. The Dow Futures contract fell 204 points or 0.77%, at the time of writing.
The Federal Reserve concluded its two-day meeting on late Wednesday with the central bank keeping its benchmark rate near zero and suggesting that it would remain so for some time amid economic uncertainty.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that the economy will need high levels of accommodative monetary policy for an extended period.
Meanwhile, On Capitol Hill Republicans and Democrats are still struggling to pass the latest stimulus measures before Friday when some earlier measures are due to expire.
The only major change to the FOMC statement is that it adds an explicit warning that the path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus. It seems to be yet another effort to try to provide a dose of realism in contrast to what appears to be equity market optimism that recovery is plain sailing from here.
The focus will now turn to the first take on second-quarter GDP at 08:30 AM ET, with analysts forecasting a 34% annualized decline during the three-month period. Earlier on Thursday, German GDP contracted by 10.1% in the second quarter posting its steepest plunge on record and wiping out nearly 10 years of economic growth in adjusted terms.
The weekly initial jobless claims are also due at the same time and are expected to remain elevated after last week’s release turned higher, breaking a long run of declining claims.
Meanwhile, the earnings season continues apace with the prime focus being on Big Tech. Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet are all due to report numbers after the close Thursday, a day after their CEOs were grilled very lightly by a congressional anti-trust panel. These four companies make up around 16% of the S&P 500 index.
Concerns over the strength of the economy also hit oil prices, despite a huge drop in U.S. crude oil supplies last week. The U.S. Energy Information Administration recorded a 10.612 million-barrel draw in inventories for the week ended on July 24.
U.S. crude futures traded 1.74% lower at $40.55 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent fell 1.38% to $43.48, at the time of writing.
Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.39% to $1,945.70/oz, still at highly elevated levels while EUR/USD traded at 1.1752, down 0.32%, at the time of writing.
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